How To Deal With Being Smarter Than Your Boss Properly

Have you ever wondered how your boss got to where they are today? Do you believe you’re more qualified to manage a team of employees because you have more experience, greater knowledge and better leadership skills? There’s a very good chance you may be right and according to experts, this is a common gripe for many people.

You want to work for a great boss, someone you can respect and learn from. But what if your manager isn’t good at his job? What if you’re more competent or have greater skills? Should you be raising a ruckus or keeping your head down? And how do you get what you need without making your boss look bad?

Here’s how to deal with being smarter than your boss properly:

1. Never Ever Badmouth Or Gossip About Your Boss

Never say a bad word or talk behind their back. No matter how unqualified your boss is, complaining about it to others reflects poorly on you and it can interfere with your ability to advance in your career. Badmouthing and gossip are bad forms of expressing your feelings about your boss.

2. Discover One Thing You Admire The Most And Focus On It

Now that you’ve admitted that your boss has a redeeming value, focus on learning it from them so you can be better in your craft. Wrap your daily routine around it. It could be their leadership skills, strategic acumen, connections, decisiveness or simply their likeability. In most cases, soft skills are what you can take away from any boss.

3. Be Honest With Yourself

Before you declare your boss an incompetent fool, take a closer look at what’s really happening. Some people need to believe they’re better to keep their self-esteem intact or they may just be more qualified in one area. Ask yourself if you’re genuinely smarter than your manager or if it’s possible that you’re more qualified in some areas but not others.

Be honest with yourself about what skills you have and which ones your boss may lack. Being smarter than your boss doesn’t mean you’re going to be more effective. After all, to be good at your job, you don’t just need smarts. You need experience, strong relationships, social capital and emotional intelligence.

4. Be As Useful As Possible

Make yourself useful to your boss and your team by taking on what you can. Look for places where their points of weakness match your strengths and focus yourself as much as possible in those areas. Being useful is a great way to commend yourself to your boss and to be noticed by those who are higher up.

5. Work Out Why They Got There

People get promoted for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they’re killer leaders, have proven track records or have an innovative approach. Sometimes they just appeared to work harder, spent long enough at the company or went to school with someone on the board.

If you’re keen to get ahead in that specific organization, work out how and why they got to where they are. If you learn to play the game a bit, when the time is right for you, you’ll have the double threat of being qualified as well as going down the right route.

6. Take The Right Amount Of Credit

One of the most important things to remember is that your success is correlated directly with your bosses success as well. While a paranoid manager may look to take credit, be careful to take pride in your accomplishments. No need to boast when something major happens because you should always let your work do the talking.

7. Learn From Your Boss

If you have been looked over for promotion, being landed with a weak manager can be even more frustrating. Instead of focusing on their faults, see if there’s something you can learn from them since they got the job for a reason.

Respect that your boss may have experience or knowledge that you don’t and be prepared to learn from them. They may have better soft skills than you or simply be better at networking and managing their career progression. Watch them and see if you can adopt some of their strategies.


If you think that you are smarter than your boss, you don’t have to brag about it. Instead, understand why they became your boss in the first place. In this post, I shared with you the ways on how to deal with being smarter than your boss properly.

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